shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days; the feast of tabernacles, which began the fifteenth of Tisri, and was kept seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, which is not here taken notice of: this feast was in commemoration of the Jews dwelling in tabernacles in the wilderness; and was typical of Christ's tabernacling in our nature, or of his incarnation; and which feast is to be kept in Gospel times, and particularly in the latter day, by believing in the incarnate Saviour, and in all the blessings flowing from his incarnation; and by attending the Gospel feast, his word and ordinances, which hold him forth as the only Saviour; See Gill on Zechariah 14:16, now, the same things are to be done at this feast as at the feast of the passover:
according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil: that is, so many bullocks and rams for the burnt offering, and a kid of the goats for the sin offering, as before; and the same quantity of fine flour and oil for the meat offering: this also is a new thing, as Kimchi observes; for, according to the law, the sacrifices at the feast of passover, and at the feast of tabernacles, were very different; and it might be further observed, that no notice is taken of the feast of pentecost, or first fruits; and the whole confirms what has been already observed, that this shows the abrogation of the Mosaic economy; and that these things are to be understood in a spiritual and evangelic sense.
INTRODUCTION TO Ezekiel 46
This chapter treats of the shutting of the eastern gate of the inner court on working days, and opening it on sabbaths and new moons, for the prince and people to worship in, Ezekiel 46:1, gives a further account of the sacrifices of both at these seasons, and of their different ways of going in and out, Ezekiel 46:4, delivers some rules about the prince's disposing of his gifts to his sons and servants, Ezekiel 46:16 and describes the places for the priest's baking and boiling the sacrifices, Ezekiel 46:19
shall be shut the six working days; which seems to be the same with the gate of the outward sanctuary, Ezekiel 44:1 said to be always shut, and never opened; but by what follows here it appears that that must be understood with some exception and limitation: the six working days are the six days of the week in which men should labour, and do all the work and business of their callings, that they may thereby provide for themselves and families, and have wherewith to give to the poor; during which time the public ministry of the word is intermitted, that men may not be taken off of their necessary and lawful employments; and that the ministers of the word may have sufficient time to prepare in their studies for their ministerial service:
but on the sabbath it shall be opened; by which is meant, not the Jewish sabbath now abrogated in the times this vision refers to; but the Lord's day, called by this Jewish name: and this being opposed to the six working days, shows that it ought to be kept by abstinence from all civil, corporeal, and servile works, as well as from dead works or sins, and in the exercise of all religious duties, private and public; and particularly in attendance on the ministry of the word, the gate now opened; and which is sometimes expressed by opening the door of faith, and is called an open door; and may be said to be so when ministers have an opportunity without, and great freedom within themselves, to preach it; and when the doors of men's hearts are opened to attend to it, and many souls are gathered to Christ, and into his churches, by it; see Acts 14:27,
and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened; on stated monthly days, in which the churches of Christ meet together for religious service: the new moon, which is an emblem of new light, and an increase of it, is very suitable to express the Gospel dispensation; in which, as Cocceius observes, there are some particular seasons that may be called so; as the coming of Christ into the world; his resurrection from the dead; the pouring forth of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; the destruction of the temple, and temple service; the peace and prosperity of the Christian churches in the times of Constantine; the morning star of the reformation; and the call of God's people out of Babylon at the destruction of it; at all which times there has been, or will be, an opening of this eastern gate, or a free, and glorious ministration of the Gospel. Some think these six working days design this life, which is the time of working, after which there will be none but an eternal sabbath or rest; and that, for the present, saints live and walk by faith, and not by sight; divine and heavenly things are greatly shut up, and out of sight; but then it will be new moon, as well as sabbath, and all things will be seen clearly; but the former sense I think is best, which yet I leave to the judgment of others. This Kimchi says is a new thing, that will be in time to come.
and shall stand by the post of the gate; this denotes the presence of Christ, the Prince with his people waiting at Wisdom's gate, and watching at the posts of her door. The allusion seems to be to the king's pillar in the temple, where he used to stand, 2 Chronicles 23:13. Some understand this of Christ's incarnation, of his entrance into the world, and his standing before his Father, and praying for his people, as he did in the garden, and a little before his death, as recorded John 17:1.
and the priests shall prepare his burnt offerings, and his peace offerings; that is, shall offer them. The meaning is, that the ministers shall preach Christ and him crucified, who, by his sacrifice, has made atonement for sin, and peace for his people; though some interpret this of the concern the priests had in the crucifixion and death of Christ:
and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate; of the other gate that led into the inner court, and where he could see all that was done in it: or bow (i); which it is observed he did, when he fell prostrate in the garden, and when he expired on the cross, and was at the threshold of the gate of heaven launching into eternity: worship and adoration, or bowing, be ascribed to Christ as man; see John 4:22,
then shall he go forth; out of this world to his Father, and be seen no more, until the restitution of all things; though this and the preceding may be understood of Christ's mystical worshipping; or of his people, who are one with him; and of their departure from public worship, when it is over:
but the gate shall not be shut until the evening; of the sabbath, or new moon; or the evening of the world, the second coming of Christ; the Gospel ministry and ordinances will continue till then, and no longer; and this is owing to his powerful and prevalent intercession in heaven, whither he is gone then the door will be shut, and not before, Matthew 25:10.
(i) "incurvaverit se", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "incurvato se", Piscator.
six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish; according to the law of Moses, only two lambs were the burnt offering for this day, besides the continual one, Numbers 28:9, here Jarchi confesses his ignorance; and Kimchi says it is a new thing; and indeed it is, and is a proof of the ceremonial law being now abolished. These seven denote the perfect sacrifice of Christ, by which he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified; and being without blemish, the purity and holiness of it; and as the people of God on the six working days commit much sin, and contract much guilt, the sacrifice of Christ is signified by six lambs, which it is necessary they should hear of, and it should be set before them in the ministry of the word on Lord's days, which is meant by the offering of it; that they may by faith apply it to themselves, to the removal of sin from their consciences, and take the comfort of it; as the one ram may denote the one sacrifice of Christ, though typified by many; and who, like the ram, is the leader and guide of the flock: now, more creatures being offered for this burnt offering than under the law, denotes the clearer knowledge of the sacrifice of Christ under the Gospel, and the more extensive efficacy of it, to the removal of the guilt of sin from the Lord's people.
and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give; or, and "the gift of his hand" (k); it was fixed and stinted under the law, Numbers 28:9, but now should be free and voluntary, and according to the ability of the giver; that is, the preacher of the word, who officiates for the prince, and in his name, and sets before the people the meat, or rather bread offering, Christ the bread of life, freely, and according to the ability and measure of the gift of grace bestowed upon him:
and an hin of oil to an ephah; which was also a larger quantity than under the law, denoting the larger measure of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, signified by oil, given unto the ministers of the word, and the people also; See Gill on Ezekiel 45:24.
(k) "donum manus ejus", Cocceius, Starckius.
and six lambs, and a ram; they shall be without blemish; and here Kimchi acknowledges again that this is a new thing to be done in future time. Some have observed, that the seven lambs under the law showed that perfection might be hoped for and expected; but, there being but six now, that this is not yet attained, nor will be till the saints get to heaven; though perfection is come by the priesthood of Christ, whose sacrifice is a perfect and complete one, and by which his people are perfected, and they are complete in him, yet they have no perfection in themselves.
and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah; See Gill on Ezekiel 46:5.
and he shall go forth by the way thereof; the same way he came in, he shall go out; not so the people; and, to introduce the manner of their going in and out, this is repeated concerning the prince.
he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth in by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate; that so such as were coming in, and going out, might not meet, and stop and hinder one another in going out and coming in: no mention is made of entering in by the east gate, which was only for the prince, Ezekiel 44:1, and there was no entering in, or going out, on the west:
he shall not return by the way of the gate he came in, but shall go forth over against it; signifying, that those that come to the house of God to worship, and join in communion with the saints, should not return to their former ways and practices; to their former rites, customs, and ceremonies in religion, used by them; and to their former principles and errors in doctrines; and to their former sinful courses of life; but go straight on and thorough stitch with it in their profession of Christ and his Gospel, and in the practice of spiritual and evangelic worship; see Luke 9:62.
when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth; when they go to the throne of grace, for grace and mercy to help in time of need, he goes with them; their access is through him; he introduces their persons, presents their petitions, is their advocate and intercessor for them, and for his sake they are heard and accepted: when they go into the house of God, and to the ordinances of it; when they go in and out to find pasture, he goes in with them, and before them, as the shepherd of the flock, and leads them into green pastures; he teaches them how to go in and out, and to behave themselves in the church of God; he is their guide, by way of instruction, both by his word and by his Spirit: when they go out from public service to their own houses, he goes with them, and by his Spirit brings to their remembrance what they have heard; and when they go forth into the world again, and the business of it, he goes forth with them, to preserve them from the evil of the world, and to keep them from falling; and when they go forth out of the world at death, he is with them through the dark valley; he sees them safe over Jordan's river, and introduces them into the heavenly Canaan, into his kingdom and glory, where they are for ever with him.
the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah; the same to be done on all feasts and solemnities as on the sabbath day; See Gill on Ezekiel 46:5.
(l) "et statis temporibus", Cocceius, Starckius.
one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east: the place where he stood and worshipped on the sabbath day; on the evening of which it was shut, and remained so the six days of the week, Ezekiel 46:1 only when it was the prince's pleasure to offer a sacrifice, or to have the word preached, it was opened by one of the porters of the gates; or there was an open exercise of the ministry of the word, by one of the preachers of it:
and he shall prepare his burnt offerings, and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day; the same doctrine, respecting the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ, must be delivered at such times, as on Lord's days:
then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate; on the sabbath day, or the Lord's day, it was not to be shut till the evening, because that day is wholly to be devoted to the service of God; men are not to find their own ways, nor do their own work, nor seek their own pleasure; but on week days, when the lecture is over, the gate is shut immediately, and persons may return to their worldly business directly.
of a lamb of the first year without a blemish; a type of Christ the Lamb of God, without spot and blemish, strong and able, and so fit and proper to be a sacrifice for the sins of others:
thou shalt prepare it every morning; or, "morning by morning" (m); this seems to be said not to the prince, but rather to the prophet, and indeed to every believer; who should, every morning he rises, look to Christ as the atoning sacrifice for sin, whose blood continually cleanses from it, and who is always in the midst of the throne as a lamb that had been slain, and ever lives to make intercession; and as the mercies of the Lord's people are renewed every morning, they should renew their thankfulness to God as often, and bring this lamb with them, through whose sacrifice their sacrifices of praise become acceptable. No mention is made of the evening sacrifice; see Exodus 29:38, which some think is included in the morning burnt offering. Kimchi thinks that in future time this was not to be offered, only the morning sacrifice; but the true reason is, Christ has appeared once in the evening of the world, and offered up himself; yea, it was literally in the evening, or decline of the day, when he suffered, or between the two evenings, whereby he answered the type of the passover lamb; hence no evening sacrifice is mentioned, Christ's being offered up.
(m) "in mane, in mane", Montanus, Vatablus.
the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; to mix with it, and moisten it: under the law, only a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour, and a fourth part of a hin of oil, were ordered to make this meat offering of, Exodus 29:40, wherefore Kimchi observes, this is a new thing in time to come: the reason of it is this; to show us, that as the blessings of grace abound under the Gospel dispensation, we should abound in our thanksgiving to God:
a meat offering, continually, by a perpetual ordinance unto the Lord; these sorts of sacrifices are never to cease; and so the Jews (n) themselves say,
"in future time, or in the days of the Messiah, all sacrifices shall cease; but the sacrifice of praise shall not cease.''
(n) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 153. 1.
the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil every morning, for a continual burnt offering; which is repeated for the confirmation of it, and to excite a careful and constant attention to it.
if the prince give a gift to any of his sons; Christ, the Prince, has sons; he that is the Prince, of peace is the everlasting Father; he has children given unto him, whom he preserves; a seed promised him in covenant, which shall always endure; a family he is master of, and cares for; for whose sake he became incarnate, suffered, and died: they are sons by adopting grace, and in their adoption he has a great concern; they are predestinated to it by him; they receive it through him; he gives them power to become the sons of God, and they are manifestatively so through faith in him; they appear to be his sons, or are evidenced as such by their regeneration, which also is of him: it is by his Spirit they are regenerated; it is his grace that is implanted in them; it is he himself that is formed in them, and his image that is stamped upon them; it is owing to his word and Gospel as the means and to his resurrection as the virtual cause of it; it is in his church they are born, yea, of her, to whom he stands in the relation of a husband, and so they are sons brought forth to him by her; and these are princes by birth, have a free and princely spirit, and are brought up and provided for as such: now to these Christ gives gifts; gifts of special grace, all sorts of grace; sanctifying grace, faith, hope, love, repentance, &c.; justifying grace, the gift of righteousness; pardoning grace; adopting grace; all supplies of grace; spiritual strength, peace, joy and comfort; and persevering grace, to hold out to the end: and he also gives glory or eternal life; this is with him, in his hands; he has a power to give and he does give it, to all his sons; all which, being once given, ever continue.
The inheritance thereof shall be his sons', it shall be their possession by inheritance; that is, it shall ever remain with them, shall never be taken away from them; these are gifts and calling without repentance, irreversible blessings, which are for ever: sanctifying grace is a well of living water, springing up unto eternal life; faith, hope, and love, always abide; Christ's justifying righteousness is an everlasting one; pardon of sin is of all sin, past, present, and to come, and is never made void or called in; once children of God, and always such; and the inheritance of heaven is incorruptible, never fading, and eternal; and all this flows from the unchangeable love of God and Christ to these sons of the prince.
Then it shall be his to the year of liberty; the servant's to whom it is given, as long as the prince pleases; who when they make no use, or an ill use of them, takes them away in lifetime, and gives them to those that have more, and employ them to better purpose, Zechariah 11:17, or however at death, which is a time of liberty from civil bondage, the servant is free from his master; and when good men are freed from the oppression of others, and from sin, Satan, and the world, and are delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God; this is a year of liberty indeed to them; and then all external gifts to others, as riches, are held no longer; the word and ordinances no more enjoyed; prophesying, speaking with tongues, and all mere natural knowledge, cease, and vanish away, 1 Corinthians 13:8, the allusion is to the year of jubilee, when liberty was proclaimed throughout the land, and every man returned to his possession, and to his family, Leviticus 25:10, and so the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret it of the year of jubilee; a type of the heavenly glory, and of the joy of the Lord, which Christ's faithful servants enter into; and when there will be a manifest difference between them and slothful servants, and the gifts of the one and of the other, and of their use of them, as well as between sons and servants:
after it shall return to the prince; signifying that such gifts are not durable; they are revertible to the donor of them; who will call these servants to an account for them at death or judgment, if not in time of life:
but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them; the prince's inheritance shall be theirs; for being sons they are heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ: or that which is given them for an inheritance shall always continue; it shall never be taken from them or returned; but it shall be their own, for themselves, and enjoy it for ever; which is a confirmation of what is said in the preceding verse.
but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession; whatever Christ gives his sons, whether present grace, or future glory, it is out of his own possession; for all that the Father has are his; all the blessings of goodness are with him; all the fulness of grace is in him; the eternal inheritance is reserved with him in heaven; and it is all his own he gives, and not another's:
that my people be not scattered every man from his possession; or, "that therefore my people may not be scattered every" "men from his possession" (o); because what is given them, and they are in possession of, was Christ's own, and not another's; and which he had a right to dispose of, and therefore they need not fear being dispossessed by another claimant.
(o) "ideo ne dispergantur populus meus", Starckius.
into the holy chambers of the priests; see Ezekiel 42:13,
and, behold, there was a place in the two sides westward; or, "on their sides westward" (p); on the west side of the chambers; the Targum is at the west end of them: the use of this place follows,
(p) "in lateribus ejus vel eorum, in extremo", Starckius.
this is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering, and the sin offering; this was the priests' kitchen, in which they prepared the sacrifices that were to be eaten; and which were typical of Christ, who was made sin, and became a sacrifice for the sins of his people, whether presumptuous ones, or sins of ignorance; the doctrine of whose sacrifice and satisfaction is a principal part of the Gospel ministry; and which should be delivered, not in a raw, crude, and indigested manner; but the Scriptures should be diligently searched into, to get a clear and distinct understanding of it; and these should be constantly meditated on, and thoroughly studied: ministers should examine their doctrine by the word of God before they deliver it; and take heed unto it that it is right, according to the oracles of God, and the proportion of faith; and take care to deliver it in the best manner, not in a cold lukewarm way, but with fervency of spirit; all which may be meant by the boiling of these sacrifices; it seems to design the laborious and diligent employ of Gospel ministers in their studies, preparatory to their public work in the house of God; and suggests that they should not come thither unprepared, and deliver out unpremeditated matter; or set before the Lord's people undigested food; or offer that in the sanctuary of the Lord which cost them no pains or trouble: this place, and so the boiling places in Ezekiel 46:24, are to be understood of the closets, studies, and places of retirement, where the ministers of the word employ their time and thoughts in preparing for their public ministry; for these were without the sanctuary, on the side of the priests' chambers, and in the corners of the outward court:
where they shall bake the meat offering; or "bread offering" (q); made of fine flour and oil; typical of Christ the bread of God, the food of believers, who is set forth as such to them in the ministry of the Gospel: the baking of this signifies the same as the boiling of the other before; see Leviticus 2:1,
that they bear them not out in the utter court, to sanctify the people; that they might not be carried through the outer court, where the common people were; lest they should think it was lawful for them to eat of them as Kimchi observes, when they belonged to the priests only; or lest they should touch them, and become holy thereby, and so for the future be employed in sacred service, and obliged to quit the duties of their calling, which would, introduce confusion in the commonwealth; see Haggai 2:12, the Targum is,
"lest they be mixed with the people.''
The design seems to be to show, that the doctrine of peace, pardon, atonement, and satisfaction for sin, is only to be preached as belonging to such that truly repent of sin, and believe in Christ; and particularly that the ordinance of the Lord's supper, in which the sacrifice of Christ is held forth and commemorated, is to be administered, not to men in common, but to holy and regenerate persons; to do otherwise would be to cast pearls before swine, and give that which is holy to dogs.
(q) "the minchah."
and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; in each of the four corners of the outward court there was another court; signifying that there will be courts or churches in the several parts of the world in the latter day.
of forty cubits long, and thirty broad; an oblong quadrangle:
these four corners were of one measure; the courts that were in these four corners were, of the same measure, as to length and breadth; denoting the equality of Gospel churches, being of the same faith, order and discipline, power and authority.
(r) "atria caminata", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Cocceius; "fumosa", Tigurine version, Castalio; "fumigata", Starckius. (s) Middot, c. 2. sect. 5. (t) Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (u) Hilchot Beth Habechira, c. 5. sect. 8. (w) Prospect of the Temple, c. 18. p. 1092, 1093.
"and walls were made to them round about;''
to the court: and so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret this row of building of a stone wall:
round about them four; the four courts at the four corners:
and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about; under these rows of building, chambers or sheds; or under these stone walls were furnaces, and coppers, and caldrons, set on them, for the boiling of the sacrifices.